A seawater filtration method suitable for total dissolved inorganic carbon and pH analyses

Emily E. Bockmon, Andrew G. Dickson

Limnol. Oceanogr. Methods 12:191-195 (2014) | DOI: 10.4319/lom.2014.12.191

ABSTRACT: High biomass and heavy particle loads may interfere with carbonate chemistry analyses of samples from experimental aquaria and cultures used to investigate the impact of ocean acidification on organisms, as well as from biologically productive coastal regions. For such samples, a filtration method is needed that does not change the dissolved CO2 content, and consequently does not alter the total dissolved inorganic carbon and pH of the sample. Here, a filtration method is presented in which the sample seawater is pumped by a peristaltic pump through a replaceable 0.45 μm filter in a 50 mm polycarbonate filter holder and then into the sample bottle. Seawater samples of known carbonate composition were filtered to confirm that the filtration method did not alter the CO2 content, and compromise the subsequent sample analysis and data usefulness. Seawater samples with added phytoplankton concentrations in the range of 1–5 × 105 cells mL–1 were also filtered successfully. Finally, seawater with added biogenic CaCO3 was tested to prove that the method could successfully filter out such particles and produce dependable results. This approach will help to ensure more consistent and reliable carbonate chemistry measurements in coastal environments and from ocean acidification aquaria and cultures, by providing a well-tested method for sample filtration.